Swami Vishwananda, in one of his talks told the following story: Once upon a time, a sage wandering from village to village in the Himalayan Mountains became very popular and people of the villages always anticipated the sage’s visits with loving preparations. The people of one village once began preparations weeks before the sage’s scheduled visit. A devotee of the sage came to participate in the preparations and told the people of this village that he had heard that when the sage said his prayers he liked to use seven flowers. The village people began talking among themselves wondering if the Swami used any seven types of flowers or if he had a preference for seven distinct flower types.
Eventually, in order to prepare properly, some of the people went to the saint and asked him which seven flowers he used in his prayers. The saint began laughing heartily and said: “Yes, I use seven flowers to pray and I request that each of you offer these seven flowers to God. When one gives gifts to God from the heart, it pleases Him, and thereby one also gives the gifts to himself. There is not a greater gift than these seven: Love, Truthfulness, Service to People, Prayer, Devotion, Loyalty and Control of the Senses.
After telling the story Swami Vishwananda added with great love in his voice: “That story reminds me of what Krishna said in the Bhagavad Gita: If someone offers me just a little leaf with love from the heart, I shall accept it.”